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  49ers | Week 9 return for NaVorro Bowman?    Tue Jul 22, 12:04 AM

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

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Navorro Bowman player page


  Texans | Three defensive players placed on PUP list    Mon Jul 21, 06:13 PM

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

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Brian Cushing player page
Trevardo Williams player page
Louis Nix player page


  Giants | Jon Beason to start camp on PUP list    Mon Jul 21, 05:03 PM

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

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Jon Beason player page


  Bills | Brandon Spikes leaves practice    Mon Jul 21, 03:50 PM

Buffalo Bills LB Brandon Spikes was not wearing pads while being looked at by trainers during practice Monday, July 21. He was reportedly being cooled with towels and eventually left the field.

Footballguys view: The Bills defense doesn't need any more injuries. They already lost Kiko Alonso for the season. We'll know more about this Spikes injury soon.

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Brandon Spikes player page


  Chiefs | Will work out Josh Mauga    Mon Jul 21, 02:58 AM

Free-agent LB Josh Mauga (Jets) will work out for the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, July 21.

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Joshua Mauga player page


  Bills | Linebacker breakdown    Sun Jul 20, 11:31 PM

Buffalo Bills LB Brandon Spikes started at middle linebacker Sunday, July 20, in place of LB Kiko Alonso (knee). LB Keith Rivers and LB Nigel Bradham started alongside Spikes with LB Preston Brown rotating in with Spikes.

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Keith Rivers player page
Brandon Spikes player page
Nigel Bradham player page


  Patriots | Nate Byham signs    Sun Jul 20, 03:31 AM

The New England Patriots have signed free-agent TE Nate Byham (Buccaneers). Byham will likely compete with TEs Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams for a chance to back up Rob Gronkowski.

Footballguys view: We can't imagine Byham beating out either of those two. Gronkowski's injury history makes fantasy owners curious about his backup. However, as we saw last year the team changes the way they distribute the football through the air if Gronk is out.

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D.J. Williams player page
Michael Hoomanawanui player page
Nate Byham player page


  49ers | NaVorro Bowman to be placed on PUP list    Sat Jul 19, 11:03 AM

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list when he reports to training camp. Bowman is expected to start the regular season on the PUP list.

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Navorro Bowman player page


  Broncos | Two LBs may compete for one spot    Fri Jul 18, 11:20 PM

Denver Broncos LBs Jamar Chaney and Brandon M. Marshall could compete for one roster spot during training camp.

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Jamar Chaney player page
Brandon Marshall player page


  Colts | Stanley Havili top choice at FB    Fri Jul 18, 11:02 PM

Indianapolis Colts FB Stanley Havili appears to have the edge over FB Mario Harvey for the starting fullback job entering training camp.

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Stanley Havili player page
Mario Harvey player page


  Bills | Kiko Alonso surgery successful    Fri Jul 18, 01:51 PM

Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso's (knee) torn anterior cruciate ligament was successfully repaired, according to his agent. Alonso will miss the entire 2014 season.

Footballguys view: Good news for Alonso and the Bills here. He's a fine young linebacker with the speed and nose for the football to be a playmaker. We'll see him at full strength for training camp next year.

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Kiko Alonso player page


  Cowboys | Bruce Carter ready to lead    Thu Jul 17, 04:33 PM

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter is ready to be the focal point of the defense, according to teammate CB Barry Church. Church said Carter has gained confidence this offseason and will get better as the season progresses.

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Bruce Carter player page


  Bills | Kiko Alonso placed on NFI list    Wed Jul 16, 04:58 PM

The Buffalo Bills have placed LB Kiko Alonso (knee) on the Non-Football Injury list.

Footballguys view: Losing Alonso is a gut shot for the Bills defense. He's a smart player who is always around the ball, and Alonso was known as a playmaker. They simply won't be the same without him.

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Kiko Alonso player page


  Cowboys | Rolando McClain could push for MLB job    Wed Jul 16, 12:08 PM

Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain may be able to push LB Justin Durant for the starting middle linebacker job during training camp if he is able to get in shape mentally and physically.

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Rolando McClain player page


  Seahawks | Bobby Wagner believes team is better    Tue Jul 15, 06:30 PM

Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner said Tuesday, July 15 he thinks the team has gotten way better this year, mainly because of how young they are.

Footballguys view: The Seahawks will have to overcome the loss of Golden Tate (Lions) on offense and the loss of Chris Clemons (Jaguars) on defense. We'll see how well they defend their title this year. The Seahawks or the 49ers are arguably the best teams in the NFL today.

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Bobby Wagner player page


  Seahawks | Bobby Wagner thought Broncos were intimidated    Tue Jul 15, 04:26 PM

Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner said he thought the Denver Broncos were intimidated of the team's defense during the Super Bowl. 'They looked scared out there,' Wagner said of the Broncos. 'Nobody wanted to catch the ball. Nobody wanted to come up the middle,' Wagner said.

Footballguys view: Wagner has his opinion, and the Broncos were certainly outplayed in every facet of the Super Bowl. We think it's ridiculous to call a team "scared" and players like Terrance Knighton have already reacted to this statement. The two teams play each other in the preseason, but also early in the regular season. We could see a rematch of the Super Bowl this year if Seattle and Denver can get back to the big game.

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Bobby Wagner player page


  Giants | Mark Herzlich likely to make team    Tue Jul 15, 12:14 PM

New York Giants LB Mark Herzlich is likely to make the roster even though he has not shown much at linebacker, in the opinion of Dan Graziano of ESPN New York. Herzlich has likely shown enough on special teams to secure his roster spot.

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Mark Herzlich player page


  Cowboys | Coach praises Bruce Carter    Tue Jul 15, 12:09 PM

Dallas Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said LB Bruce Carter has "ramped up" his work with the position coach this offseason. 'I think he's taking steps in the right direction,' Eberflus said. 'And he's putting the work in. He's meeting with me as much as he can. Studying the tape, giving him clear and concise goals daily for practice and he's doing a good job of attaining those goals each and every day so when he does that he takes steps in the right direction to improve his fundamentals and his game.'

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Bruce Carter player page


  Buccaneers | Dane Fletcher could push for starting job    Mon Jul 14, 05:12 PM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Dane Fletcher could push for the starting middle linebacker job if LB Mason Foster is not able to handle his increased duties as a pass defender.

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Dane Fletcher player page
Mason Foster player page


  Chiefs | Joe Mays top candidate to start at ILB    Sun Jul 13, 08:33 PM

Kansas City Chiefs LB Joe Mays appears to be the leading candidate to start at inside linebacker next to LB Derrick Johnson this upcoming season.

Footballguys view: Mays is shot out of a cannon against the run, but he struggles in coverage. The veteran knows the division well from his days playing with the Denver Broncos, and he will help the Chiefs as a two-down thumper only.

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Joe Mays player page


  Redskins | Keenan Robinson could start at ILB    Sat Jul 12, 03:21 PM

Washington Redskins LB Keenan Robinson appears to be the favorite to win the starting inside linebacker job, following a strong performance in spring workouts. LBs Darryl Sharpton, Akeem Jordan and Adam Hayward are also battling for the position.

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Adam Hayward player page
Akeem Jordan player page
Darryl Sharpton player page
Keenan Robinson player page


  Ravens | C.J. Mosley working hard, progressing    Thu Jul 10, 04:13 PM

Baltimore Ravens rookie LB C.J. Mosley recently said he's learning the defense day by day. Specifically, he said he's been studying the playbook and getting to know the little things that will benefit him even more. He added the main difference between college and the NFL is learning a new language and a new system. Mosely is competing for a starting spot at inside linebacker

Footballguys view: Mosley was a great pick for the Ravens and showed off his trademark athleticism in OTAs. He'll probably displace Arthur Brown initially though we may see a bit of a rotation since the other inside position is taken by Daryl Smith.

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C.J. Mosley player page


  Texans | Brian Cushing working out    Thu Jul 10, 02:02 PM

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) said he has been working out and believes he will be ready for the start of the regular season. He has not put a specific timetable for when he will be able to start practicing.

Footballguys view: Good news for Houston fans--this defense could be completely stacked with JJ Watt and rookie Jadeveon Clowney as well as Cushing. It had better be because we aren't sure the offense has the juice (especially under center) to carry the team to wins.

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Brian Cushing player page


  Patriots | Chris White could have edge for roster spot    Wed Jul 9, 12:59 PM

New England Patriots LB Chris White could have an advantage over some of the other linebackers competing for a roster spot, because he was a core special teams player last season.

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Chris White player page


  Texans | Brian Cushing still a mystery    Wed Jul 9, 08:38 AM

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) doesn't know when he'll gain full clearance for practice but knows he'll be ready for Week 1.

Link to story
Brian Cushing player page


  Ravens | Daryl Smith expects the defense to improve    Sat Jul 5, 11:28 PM

Baltimore Ravens LB Daryl Smith said he expects the defense to be even better this season now that he and his teammates have had a year to play together. 'A lot of us are playing together again, and we started to learn each other last year,' Smith said. 'This year, we'll be able to trust each other more.'

Footballguys view: The Ravens defense got a helluva lot better with the addition of linebacker C.J. Mosley in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. Mosley can stuff the run with natural violence, and he can cover tight ends down the seam.

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Daryl Smith player page


  Packers | Jamari Lattimore could push for more time    Sat Jul 5, 12:01 AM

Green Bay Packers LB Jamari Lattimore could push LB Brad Jones for more playing time during training camp. The team has said Jones' starting job is not in jeopardy.

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Brad Jones player page
Jamari Lattimore player page


  49ers | Chris Borland looking forward to competing    Fri Jul 4, 11:48 PM

San Francisco 49ers LB Chris Borland said he understands that LB Michael Wilhoite is the leading candidate for the starting inside linebacker job that will replace LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) but is looking forward to competing with Wilhoite during training camp.

Footballguys view: Don't count the rookie out. Borland is a two-down thumper with a great nose for the ball. He scrapes and flows to the ball quickly, and he arrives at the ball-carrier with natural violence. He's shown improved ability in coverage, and Borland could certainly be the starter (while Bowman is out) for the 49ers in Week 1.

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Chris Borland player page


  Ravens | Two to compete for ILB job    Thu Jul 3, 06:01 PM

Baltimore Ravens LBs Arthur Brown and C.J. Mosley are expected to compete for the starting inside linebacker job next to LB Daryl Smith during training camp.

Footballguys view: Brown was the heir apparent, but now that Mosley is in town nothing is sure. Mosley is likely to get the nod, but Brown could take over for Daryl Smith down the road.

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Arthur Brown player page
C.J. Mosley player page


  Bears | Two starting spots at linebacker up for grabs    Thu Jul 3, 04:38 PM

Chicago Bears LB Lance Briggs is the only linebacker assured of starting, according to the coaching staff. Briggs will start at weakside linebacker. It is expected LB D.J. Williams will win the starting job at middle linebacker, and LBs Jonathan Bostic and Shea McClellin will compete to start at strongside linebacker. It is expected Bostic will start, because he is the superior athlete, whereas McClellin could end up in some sub packages as an extra pass rusher.

Footballguys view: McClellin struggled badly on the line, so the team is trying to salvage their first round pick by moving him to the linebacker spot. Bostic is more consistent and has more upside so it wouldn't shock us to see him win the job. The Bears were atrocious defensively last year though, so anyone who performs consistently will get a shot at a starting gig.

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Lance Briggs player page
D.J. Williams player page
Shea McClellin player page


  Steelers | Joey Porter could be a head coach     Wed Jul 2, 03:34 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive assistant coach Joey Porter could be a head coach one day, according to former teammate Larry Foote. "I think he's going to be a head coach in this league one day," Foote said. "I think he has that 'it' factor to be a head coach if he stays the course. He has an enthusiasm and excitement that you can't teach, you can't develop, you've just got to be born with it and I'm excited. Hopefully he grows from the coaching side, X's and O's, organization and stuff like that. But shoot, he's on the fast track because he can lead men, he can get men to run through a wall."

Footballguys view: Who Ride!?! We Ride! That was one of the greatest pregame chants in the league. Porter is an enthusiastic player and could turn out to be a fine disciple of Dick LeBeau.

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Joey Porter player page
Larry Foote player page


  Texans | Two options to start at ILB    Wed Jul 2, 02:34 PM

Houston Texans LBs Brooks Reed and Akeem Dent are expected to be candidates to compete for the starting inside linebacker job next to LB Brian Cushing. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has said he sees Reed as an outside linebacker and was working at inside linebacker to improve his versatility.

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Brooks Reed player page
Akeem Dent player page


  Cowboys | Rolando McClain may not cost anything     Wed Jul 2, 02:17 PM

Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain, who was recently acquired from the Baltimore Ravens, could end up costing the team nothing. According to sources, if McClain is not on the team's 46-man roster for three games or 53-man roster for five games this season, Baltimore will not receive any compensation. The deal currently mandates that Dallas gives its 2016 seventh-round pick to Baltimore if McClain does meet those criteria. Additionally, if McClain plays half of the defensive snaps this year, the Ravens will receive the Cowboys' 2015 sixth-round pick and the Cowboys will receive Baltimore's 2015 seventh-round pick. McClain did not receive any guaranteed money in his one-year contract with the Cowboys.

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Rolando McClain player page


  Raiders | Defensive front could be flexible    Wed Jul 2, 10:27 AM

Oakland Raiders LBs Miles Burris or Sio Moore could move to inside linebacker with LB Nick Roach, and either Burris or Moore would say outside with OLB Khalil Mack.

Footballguys view: The Raiders are continuing to build their team under the guidance of GM Reggie McKenzie. The offense certainly has a lot of work to do, but the defense has some nice pieces in place. The team will need to get after the quarterback as they play in a division that features Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. If the Raiders want to win more than a small handful of games, they'll need their defense to come through.

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Nick Roach player page
Miles Burris player page
Sio Moore player page
Khalil Mack player page


  Bills | Possible replacements for Kiko Alonso    Tue Jul 1, 10:50 PM

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham and LB Keith Rivers are two potential replacements for injured LB Kiko Alonso (knee). Both players have been used in multiple packages this spring. LB Ty Powell and LB Randell Johnson could also be in the mix.

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Keith Rivers player page
Nigel Bradham player page
Kiko Alonso player page
Ty Powell player page


  Bills | Kiko Alonso tears ACL    Tue Jul 1, 10:07 PM

Updating a previous story, Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso (knee) tore his ACL and is expected to miss the season, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Footballguys view: A crushing blow to the Bills defense here. Alonso is an up-and-coming player in the league and a fine linebacker who is constantly around the football. His timetable to return is 6-9 months, so expect the Bills to put him on season-ending Injured Reserve in the near future. We could see rookie Preston Brown get more of an opportunity at weak-side linebacker due to this injury.

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Kiko Alonso player page


  Bills | Kiko Alonso injures knee    Tue Jul 1, 09:46 PM

Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso (knee) injured his knee while working out in Oregon, general manager Doug Whaley said Tuesday, July 1. Whaley also said the injury 'may be significant.'

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Kiko Alonso player page


  Cowboys | Sean Lee placed on IR    Tue Jul 1, 04:59 PM

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (knee) was officially placed on Injured Reserve Tuesday, July 1.

Footballguys view: This move was expected ever since Lee injured his knee in minicamp. The team traded for Rolondo McClain on Tuesday in a desperate effort to find more help at inside linebacker. McClain will compete with Justin Durant for the top spot on the depth chart. Lee will have to wait until training camp of 2015 to show what he can do after yet another major injury.

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Sean Lee player page


  Ravens | Acquire a draft pick    Tue Jul 1, 04:45 PM

The Baltimore Ravens acquired a sixth-round draft pick from the Dallas Cowboys for LB Rolando McClain and the Ravens seventh round pick.

Footballguys view: Ozzie Newsome pulling off a good deal here. He's essentially getting a pick for a player that was not going to make much of an impact for them. Newsome has no problem washing his hands of the team's 2010 first-round bust.

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Rolando McClain player page


  Cowboys | Acquire Rolando McClain    Tue Jul 1, 04:34 PM

The Dallas Cowboys acquired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) from the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, July 1.

Footballguys view: The team is desperate, and they wanted to add another body to compete at middle linebacker since Sean Lee was lost for the year with a knee injury earlier this offseason. McClain has retired twice in the last year or so, and he's gone down as one of the biggest first-round busts in recent history. If healthy and motivated (two gigantic ifs), McClain could compete for the starting job in the middle with Justin Durant.

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Rolando McClain player page


  Packers | Coach insists Brad Jones is a starter    Tue Jul 1, 03:13 PM

Green Bay Packers LB Brad Jones is still a starter, according to linebackers coach Winston Moss. There was nothing in offseason practices that suggested his job was in jeopardy.

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Brad Jones player page


  49ers | Blake Costanzo coud be on bubble    Mon Jun 30, 05:09 PM

San Francisco 49ers LB Blake Costanzo could be on the roster bubble if LBs Nick Moody and Shayne Skov show potential on defense during training camp as well as the ability to play on special teams.

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Blake Costanzo player page


  Ravens | C.J. Mosley on track to start    Sat Jun 28, 10:06 AM

Baltimore Ravens LB C.J. Mosley said he is on track to start in Week 1. "The coaches feel comfortable with the way I'm playing and comfortable enough that I know the defense," he said. "It's all about how I feel right now, and I feel like I'm doing a great job."

Footballguys view: Mosley was the best inside linebacker available in this year's draft class. He was arguably the only MLB who can play all three downs. Mosley is smart, arrives at the ball with natural violence and he's athletic enough to cover. He's not quite Luke Kuechly (Panthers) or Patrick Willis (49ers), but Mosley should be a solid starter for years to come.

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C.J. Mosley player page


  Falcons | Tim Dobbins may see increased role on special teams    Wed Jun 25, 04:58 PM

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith said LB Tim Dobbins may have to pick up some of the slack from players that have left the team. 'He's going to have to pick up some of the slack that we lost with a guy that's leaving our team,' Smith said. 'Akeem (Dent) was a central part on special teams. Dobbins has been a good special teams player. He's probably played more special teams snaps than he has defensive snaps. He has a track record, both as a first, second and third-down player and as a fourth-down player.'

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Tim Dobbins player page


  Cowboys | Releasing Sean Lee not financially prudent    Tue Jun 24, 12:10 AM

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (knee) reportedly will count $3.7 million against the 2014 salary cap and comes with a $5.45 million salary cap charge in 2015. The Cowboys would incur cap hits of $9.75 million (2015), $6.85 million (2016), $3.9 million (2017) and $950,000 (2018) in dead money for releasing him. Lee's current $42 million contract will expire in 2020.

Sean Lee player page


  49ers | Chris Borland could receive early playing time    Mon Jun 23, 02:22 PM

San Francisco 49ers LB Chris Borland could receive playing time early in the season because of LB NaVorro Bowman's (knee) injury.

Footballguys view: Borland is the type of player who could be relied on early as a pro. He's a two-down thumper who arrives at the ball swiftly. He rarely takes false steps and finds a way to put himself into great position to make a play. Borland will have to come off the field in passing downs because of his struggles in coverage.

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Chris Borland player page


  Titans | Several to compete for ILB job    Sun Jun 22, 11:45 PM

Tennessee Titans LBs Zach Brown, Moise Fokou, Colin McCarthy, Zaviar Gooden and Avery Williamson are expected to be candidates for one of the starting inside linebacker jobs during training camp.

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Moise Fokou player page
Colin McCarthy player page
Zach Brown player page
Zaviar Gooden player page


  Broncos | Nate Irving entering camp as starter    Sun Jun 22, 08:47 PM

Denver Broncos LB Nate Irving will be entering training camp as the team's starting middle linebacker.

Footballguys view: Irving has gotten the chance to be the team's "Mike" before and he's failed to win the starting job. We'll see if Irving can hold off rookie Lamin Barrow and special teamer Steven Johnson for the gig. Irving will likely come off the field on passing downs, and strong safety T.J. Ward could be their nickel "Mike."

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Nate Irving player page


  Giants | Early outlook on the linebackers    Sat Jun 21, 04:33 PM

New York Giants LBs Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams are expected to start on the outside, with LB Jameel McClain the front runner to start at middle linebacker if LB Jon Beason (foot) isn't ready. DE/LB Devon Kennard has impressed coaches and could be in the mix to start on the strong side.

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Jameel McClain player page
Spencer Paysinger player page
Jacquian Williams player page


  Giants | Jon Beason unlikely to be ready    Sat Jun 21, 04:28 PM

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) isn't expected to be ready for Week 1. LB Jameel McClain is the front runner to start at middle linebacker in his absence.

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Jon Beason player page
Jameel McClain player page